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The Last Detail

The Last Detail(1973)

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  • last detail

    • kevin sellers
    • 11/22/14

    Pretty good movie. Best thing about it is Nicholson's performance as Buddusky, one of his very best (right up there with McMurphy and the obsessive compulsive guy in As Good As It Gets.) Buddusky is a many faceted character, veering from bossy to big brotherly to cantankerous to trusting to pugnacious to sadly reflective. And Nicholson makes the transitions with ease. The story isn't as good as Nicholson, though. Kinda sentimental, in my humble. You know, a kid is being taken to jail and in the course of the three days it takes to get there he matures and forges a bond with his jailers. Talk about unrealistic! If you can get your mind around the lugubriousness, though, there are some powerful scenes and some funny ones too. Robert Towne's screenplay is ok. A lot of the dialogue credited to him was taken from Darryl Ponicsan's novel. As was the character of Buddusky. Hal Ashby's direction is properly bleak and mournful. The last ten minutes, which take place at the utterly cheerless, hopeless Portsmouth Naval Prison, are the best in the film. It will quash any desire you may have had to be a sailor. Give it a B.

  • Review of THE LAST DETAIL

    • Brian Hagerty
    • 1/4/14

    Okay film... more impressive for the subtlety & honesty of the acting than the overall production. The story seems to lack urgency. Some funny & insightful moments.

  • Gritty Mature Film(1973)

    • nshepard
    • 1/8/13

    Hal Ashby directs this bleak look at naval life due to an incident by navy man Meadows(Randy Quaid) who must spend 8 years in military prison for attempted theft. Buddusky"Bad Ass"(Jack Nicholson) and Mullahall"Mule"(Otis Young) must escort their prisoner on their assignment "detail." Not considered top duty they reluctantly traverse the shortest route possible when they discover Meadows has been railroaded and is very naive. In order to help compensate him they embark on a series of worldly/adult theme experiences. Excellent acting by all. Look for Clifton James, Nancy Allen, Carol Kane. Tough film to view simply because of its ability to touch an emotional and human core. Very honest. Language comparable to "Glenn Gerry Glenn Ross." 5 stars out of 5. Nothing like a winter picnic in the park...

  • Great Characterizations

    • Alvah Whealton
    • 2/26/12

    Jack Nicholson plays a dead ended military lifer with no other ambition than to get from one day to the next. Otis Young is simply great as an earnestly appealing partner for Nicholson. The two of them are made SP's in order to take the shoplifting Randy Quaid cross continent for his incarceration. There are touching moments, especially between Carol Kane and Quaid, whom the SP's have temporarily released for the encounter. Quaid is a sympathetic figure as the not-too-bright petty thief. Nicholson's character alternates between repellingly crude and almost touching. Young's character comes across as someone you wish you had known, and you begin searching for other movies with Young, only to be greatly disappointed that there really are none.

  • Classical music in the movie.

    • Robert
    • 12/29/09

    I wonder whether anyone knows the music that plays during the scene of the picnic which occurs toward the end of the film, during which the three characters have hotdogs without buns and then sit at a picnic table, miserably, in the freezing cold, and just before Meadows tries to run away. It is not classical music, but a well-known baroque tune, played with trombones, or, at least brass instruments. I know it well but I can't place it.

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